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NC State Football

Processing MJ Morris’ Decision to Redshirt



I’ve now had close to 24 hours to process the revelation that Sophomore MJ Morris decided to sit out the remainder of the season, to redshirt the year. After 24 hours, it still is one of, if not the most bewildering decisions I’ve seen from a college athlete.

Morris ultimately is making the decision that is best for him, and it seems that his decision is heavily influenced by his family members. What I find confusing, is how he, or his family, think this is what is best for him.

Even if Morris ultimately ends up transferring, which has not been communicated as the ultimate desire at this point, I can’t understand how making the decision now helps him land at the best possible school and situation. I say that, because up to this point, Morris has done nothing to increase his stock in the Transfer Portal this season.

Morris’ PFF Grade in 2022 was 65.6, and it’s 55.5 in 2023 (For perspective, Armstrong’s grade in 2023 is 66.5). His Passing Efficiency Rating was an impressive 148.3 in 2022. This season it’s sitting 120.8. His completion percentage is down (60.5% in 2022/5.8% in 2023). I could go through every metric, but he has taken a step back in all of them.

MJ Morris hasn’t put anything on film that would increase his stock in 2023, besides the fact that he’s 3-1 as a starter, though I wouldn’t rank him as one of the Top 3 reasons NC State won those three games.

The reality is, MJ Morris hasn’t been good at playing the Quarterback position through 4 games. Yes, NC State has won 3 games with him at Quarterback, but I don’t believe they won because he was playing Quarterback.

With that being said, he had an opportunity to play three lesser defenses in the upcoming weeks, facing Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and UNC.

In doing so, sure, he would have lost a year of eligibility. On the other hand, he might have put himself in a position to transfer to a “better” situation in his mind.

I don’t understand how making this decision, when he made the decision, helps his future stock in the Transfer Portal. I understand that every player has to make the decision that’s best for them as an individual, and for their future. With that being said, no matter how you slice it, he quit on his team. He quit on his team as the starting Quarterback of a team that isn’t eliminated from the ACC Championship game, has a chance to finish conference play with a 6-2 record, and lead the Wolfpack to a possible 10-win season. I don’t mean this as a slight on Morris’ character, but if I’m a coach of another team, this sounds a pretty loud alarm.

I understand that I’m not even addressing the idea that Morris is choosing to redshirt the season, with the intention to return to NC State next season. That’s because I can’t fathom that being how this saga ends. If I’m a coach or a teammate, this decision leaves a sour taste in my mouth. In a locker room, the players in there go to war together, with the understanding that each individual will do whatever is necessary to help their team win games. This decision runs contrary to the culture that Dave Doeren has built at NC State.

Dave Doeren had this to say about Linebacker Jaylon Scott’s decision not to transfer leading up to the Miami game. I’m not saying it was directed at Morris, but it is telling of Doeren’s possible view of decisions like this.

“A great story. In today’s world, not just football. In general to see at the high school level now, kids are picking up and transferring all the time. It’s sad. Parents are robbing young people of adversity. ‘That’s okay, honey. Let’s do this. That’s too hard.’ That’s sad. That’s why we’re a soft country.

That’s one reason I expect this to end with a “mutual” parting of ways. To be honest, I think NC State needed to go hit the Transfer Portal and find a starting Quarterback for 2024 prior to this announcement, because I don’t think Morris has shown that he is the Quarterback of the future, or now for that matter.

If this was the plan all along for Morris, why not choose only to play the final 4 games of the season? Also, maybe I’m old school, but if I’m a coach, I don’t have much patience or tolerance for a player determining when he’s going to play, unless health is an issue. That’s the coaches job.

Did Morris and his family worry that NC State might go get a high level QB in the offseason (which they should have even if he didn’t make this decision)? Did Morris and family have a bad taste in their mouth when NC State went and got Armstrong in the portal (No matter how well Morris played in a short sample size in 2022, it would have been irresponsible in my book to place the future in Morris’ hands at that point)?

The questions abound.

The reality is this. Morris and his family made the decision that they believed was best for him. I’m not sure how this exactly was the best decision for him, but ultimately that’s not my decision to make. At the end of the day, I’m not saying Morris is a bad person. He seems like a respectable young man, but at the end of the day, it’s a bad look for him and it will follow him into his future.

This is the last thing I’ll write on this. The way this was announced was a distraction from a team that just beat Clemson and Miami, with a lot left to play for. It was announced in such a way that gave Wake Forest an advantage in game prep.

NC State, and all of the players that are choosing to suit up on Saturday at Wake Forest deserve to have the attention on them.


Matthew is Publisher and Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He is also the Lead Pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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6 months ago

I have a slightly different view the longer Ive had to think about this. A.) for NC state the fall-off between the two qb’s is minimal. B.) Why was Jordan Houston not considered a quitter and MJ is and MJ is still with our team as of now. Players should be expected to do whats best for them within the construct of a team and I think MJ did that. C.) if he stays great we all love MJ and if he leaves it sucks but he was team first when he decided to backup BA. Any team that has… Read more »

NC State Football

ESPN Ranks NC State In Their Top-15 of Their Post-Spring Way-Too-Early Preseason Top-25



ESPN released their Post-Spring Way-Too-Early Preseason College Football Top-25 today, and they ranked NC State 13th.

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio St.
  3. Texas
  4. Oregon
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Ole Miss
  7. Alabama
  8. Missouri
  9. Utah
  10. Michigan
  11. FSU
  12. Penn St.
  13. NC State
  14. LSU
  15. Tennessee
  16. Clemson
  17. Kansas St.
  18. Oklahoma
  19. Oklahoma St.
  20. Arizona
  21. Virginia Tech
  22. Kansas
  23. Iowa
  24. Miami
  25. USC

Here’s what they had to say about the Wolfpack:

Spring update: Dave Doeren has quietly guided the Wolfpack to 34 wins the past four seasons, including a 9-4 mark last year, despite having a mess in the quarterback room. That position shouldn’t be a problem with former Coastal Carolina star Grayson McCall taking over the offense. He threw for at least 2,400 yards with at least 24 touchdowns and fewer than three interceptions in each of three straight seasons from 2020 to 2022. McCall battled a head injury last season. He’ll be surrounded by plenty of talent at NC State, including transfer receivers Noah Rogers (Ohio State) and Wesley Grimes (Wake Forest) and returning star KC Concepcion, the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2023. Tight end Justin Joly (UConn) and tailback Jordan Waters (Duke) were big additions as well. NC State faces September tests against Tennessee in Charlotte and Clemson on the road, but it doesn’t play Florida State, Louisville, Virginia Tech or Miami — four of the best teams in the ACC — during the regular season. (ESPN)

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NC State Football

Does the Addition of the UVA Series Equal the Elimination of NC State’s Series with App St.?



Earlier this week it was announced that NC State and Virginia would play one another in a home-and-home series, with the Wolfpack hosting in 2025, and the Cavaliers hosting in 2026.

Prior to the announcement, NC State already had their non-conference slate booked for both of those seasons.

As a result of the addition of the Virginia series, a previously scheduled non-conference game from each season would need to be dropped. While it hasn’t been officially announced by the school, Joe Giglio and David Glenn seem to think that the series with Appalachian State is going to be dropped.

It would make the most sense, considering the Mountaineers were the only opponent the Wolfpack was scheduled to play in both 2025 and 2026. It would also make sense, considering the fact that ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips isn’t a fan of ACC teams playing Group of 5 schools on the road.

I will tell you this much. The Mountaineer faithful certainly believe NC State is dropping the series with App State, and it just takes a little scrolling on X (formerly Twitter) to get a read on their feelings on the situation.

This situation brings to mind the bill that has been proposed in the North Carolina House of Representatives that would force NC State and UNC to play App St., ECU and UNC Charlotte in Football, Men’s Basketball and Women’s Basketball.

If the addition of UVA means the elimination of App St. on NC State’s schedule, what are your thoughts? Share in the comments.

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NC State Football

CBS Sports Ranks Dave Doeren as 1 of the Top-20 Coaches in College Football



CBS Sports released their Top-25 Power 4 Coaches in College Football, and NC State’s Dave Doeren came in at #16. Heading into last season, he went into the season ranked #25.

16) Dave Doeren: The NC State coach finally gets some overdue credit. He’s always hovered around the bottom of our top 25 or just outside it, and now he finds himself firmly entrenched in it thanks to all the changes at the top. Coaches who take mid-tier programs and overachieve never get enough credit, in my estimation, and the consistency Doeren has established at NC State — where he spent most of his time in a division with Clemson and Florida State — is one of the most impressive things any coach in the country has done. I’m glad to see Doeren getting closer to the top 15. 2023 rank: 25 (+9) (CBS Sports)

Numerous CBS Sports’ analysts voted in the poll, and Tom Fornelli actually ranked Doeren #8.

ACC Coaches that made the Top-25

3. Dabo Swinney (Clemson)

8. Mike Norvell (FSU)

16. Dave Doeren (NC State)

19. Jeff Brohm (Louisville)

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NC State Football

NC State vs. Tennessee Kickoff Time & TV Network Revealed



Kickoff time and TV Channel details have been revealed for NC State and Tennessee’s game in the Duke Mayo Classic in Week 2 of next season.

The game will be a primetime game on Saturday 7th, at 7:30pm on ABC.


This game has the makings to be a Top-25 matchup.

Here’s a look at some of the Way-Too-Early Preseason rankings for the Wolfpack and the Volunteers:

Action Network: NC State #24/Tennessee #17

ON3: NC State #22/Tennessee #15

247: NC State #21/Tennessee #11

ESPN: NC State #17/Tennessee #15

DraftKings released their way-too-early odds for the game, and Tennessee is currently a 5.5-point favorite.

Here’s the deal, as NC State fans, if we want to be a big time Football program, NC State fans need to gobble up tickets to this game. Let’s do our part and make sure that Bank of America Stadium is painted RED. Buy Tickets HERE.

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